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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics pushed back a year, it has left athletes hanging in the balance.

This is particularly true for college athletes like the University of Minnesota’s Shane Wiskus, who is also a Team USA competitor.

“You plan for this thing like years in advance. You’re like, ‘Alright, what are the steps? When am I going to start training routines?’ All that kind of stuff,” Wiskus said. “To kind of get hit with that, nowhere to train, what are you going to do in the gym? How are you going to prep? That’s kind of enough of an emotional rollercoaster to where, you know you’re not giving your athletes their best shot.”

Wiskus, whose strong season for the Gophers was cut short by the COVID-19 outbreak, was among the athletes who made their voices heard when USA Gymnastics asked their opinions.

“They sent out a survey a couple days ago, kind of trying to get everyone’s stance on it in the gymnastics world, and I voted in favor of postponing a year just for the sole purpose of not being able to train,” Wiskus said.

With no gyms available, his usual training regimen has been altered.

“That can really set people back. Even a week off, at least in gymnastics, can, you know, set me back two months,” he said.

But postponing the games could turn out to be a positive.

“It gives me some time to kind of focus on some of my weaknesses. For example, pommel horse has been, you know, historically a weak event for me. So now, if it’s postponed a full year, I have like 365 days to improve as much as I can on that event,” Wiskus said.

Norman Seawright III

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